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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 18, 2018 (AM)

 
If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As
 
REPORTER: I have a question related to the Japan-U.S. summit meeting. President Trump has indicated his intention to raise the abduction issue in the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. How does the Government evaluate the latest Japan-U.S. summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the latest summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe once again requested President Trump to raise the abduction issue during the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, and President Trump strongly assured that he will bring up the matter in the meeting. This assurance will give great courage to the families of the abductees and the Government greatly appreciates the President’s leadership on this issue. Working closely with the United States, the Government will continue to make every effort to achieve the return to Japan of all abductees without further delay. Furthermore, I have received a report that the two leaders engaged in extremely frank and candid exchanges of views, which were made possible thanks to their personal relationship of trust, and that the summit meeting was a very significant one, including tête-à-tête style discussions for 55 minutes, only accompanied by interpreters, and a small meeting that lasted for 70 minutes, both of which focused on North Korean issues, including the response to the abduction issue.
 
REPORTER: With regard to the issues on trade, President Trump is maintaining a hardline stance with a view to eliminating the U.S. trade deficit. Some people are wondering whether such a position will make negotiations difficult. What is the Government’s outlook on this issue?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would imagine that the two leaders will engage in frank exchanges of views.
 
REPORTER: North Korea seems to propose incremental denuclearization, which requests the lifting of sanctions in return for each of the concrete actions. In the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, what sort of views did the Prime Minister convey to President Trump and did they share such views?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making comments on each of the details. Japan considers it to be necessary to maintain the maximum pressure campaign in order to ensure that North Korea abandons its nuclear and missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. This point was also confirmed in the summit meeting. In addition, the Government will continue to closely coordinate policies with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK), using all opportunities, including the inter-Korean summit and the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, to elicit concrete actions from North Korea.
 
REPORTER: Some press reports suggest that Japan, the U.S. and the ROK will demand North Korea to fully abandon its nuclear program by summer 2020. What are the facts behind these reports and was this something that was discussed in the Japan-U.S. summit meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on individual press reports.
 
REPORTER: There were several U.S. media reports that Mr. Mike Pompeo, who has been nominated by President Trump as the next Secretary of State of the United States, held a secret meeting with Kim Jong-un, when he was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Could you tell us about any information the Government has on this meeting and what you consider the aims of the meeting?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan and the United States have always collaborated closely at a variety of levels such as the summit level and at the foreign minister level, including the latest summit meeting, and we are sharing information and coordinating policies in a thorough manner. I will refrain from making comments on the point you have just referred to, as these are diplomatic exchanges. In any event, we will continue to take every opportunity, including the latest visit of Prime Minister Abe to the United States, to carefully coordinate policy between Japan and the United States and among Japan, the United States, and the ROK, to elicit concrete actions from North Korea through the inter-Korean summit and the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.
 
(Abridged)

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